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Fencers still waiting for OCM's signal
Published on: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: It is ninety four days to the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the Malaysian Fencing Federation (MFF) is still waiting for the Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) approval on number of fencers participating in the regional Games.

National Sports Associations have submitted their names for the long list in early January, but the umbrella body has yet to hold the selection committee meeting to shortlist the final number of sports and athletes participating in the Games scheduled from Aug 18 to Sept 2.

The last date to confirm the final entries to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) is on June 30.

Former OCM president Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar in January said, the final number of athletes representing the country in Indonesia would be decided by April.

However, MFF President Rusni Abu Hassan hopes OCM will make a decision soon to give sufficient preparation time to the athletes, in the hunt for country's first ever fencing medal in the Asian Games.

"MFF hopes OCM will approve as many fencers as possible, taking the opportunity of having the Asian Games in our neighbouring country, so there are many advantages for us.

"We hope they will at least consider to give A category for our best athlete, Joshua Koh I-Jie.

For the rest, we might consider sending them under B category, though we have to bear our own expenses," she said when contacted by Bernama.

At the 18th edition of the Asian Games, a total of 12 fencing events has been slated from Aug 19-24 at the Jakarta Convention Center, consisting of foil, epee and sabre disciplines.

For record, Malaysia has yet to win a fencing medal in Asian Games, as the three major East Asian countries- China, South Korea and Japan swept about 82 percent of the total of 336 medals contested in previous 10 editions.

In the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, Malaysia only managed to clinch a bronze in men's individual epee through Joshua, while at 2015 Singapore edition, the national squad returned home with two bronze medals.– Bernama

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